3 Ways to Accelerate Claims and Improve the Customer Experience

Shyam Somani, Insurance Solutions Leader
August 15, 2022

When it comes to the claims process, speed is of the utmost importance. However, too often, manual inefficient processes slow insurers down, resulting in settlement delays, a poor customer experience, and higher costs.

And today’s economic climate only exacerbates claims leaders' challenges. With inflation reaching a 40-year high and interest rates rising, insurers are experiencing higher claims costs, with inflation impacting everything from the price of lumber to repair storm damage to microchip replacements in cars. 

In this blog post, we’ll examine how insurers can accelerate claims handling to deliver a more connected insurance experience and improve customer satisfaction.

 

Why claims workflow optimization is a top priority.

Traditionally, insurers have differentiated themselves in three main ways: either through their product offerings, price, or stability. In recent years, though, a fourth area has risen to the forefront – the customer experience.

It costs insurers seven to nine times more to attract a new customer than retain one. 

When it comes to the claims process in particular, customers want the following:

  • Seamless, omni-channel communication
  • Simple loss reporting, including quick data prefills
  • Real-time claim status updates 
  • Faster settlement and straight through processing

Operational efficiency vs. the customer experience.

In the past, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction often seemed to be at  odds. For example, if a Chief Claims Officer wanted to reduce claims leakage, they may route claims to more experienced adjusters (who already had a high workload, resulting in bottlenecks) or add another step in their workflow to check for fraud before settling a claim. And while this might have helped to reduce leakage, it also caused delays, leading to lower customer satisfaction. 

Today, insurers no longer need to pick one or the other. Today's insurers can get the best of both worlds – both greater efficiency and a better customer experience.

Consider the FNOL intake process today. By giving customers omni-channel capabilities to report a new loss (whether that be over text, chatbot, etc.), customers can now report a claim from the device of their choosing rather than waiting on the phone. For the customer, this results in a better claims experience, and for carriers, this translates into faster and more efficient loss intake while reducing the volume of calls coming into their call centers. 

With digital natives expected to make up nearly half of the adult population by 2030, implementing seamless, omni-channel communications is critical to insurers’ digital evolution.

The growing role of technology in claims process improvement.

To deliver the seamless, digital-first claims experience that today’s customers demand, insurers need to leverage the power of technology. With the right technology in place, insurers can discover, design, and automate their claims processes to reduce costs and enhance the customer experience.

Improve claims workflow with these three strategies.

1. Discover Claims Inefficiencies with Process Mining

One of the biggest opportunities for claims leaders today is to leverage the power of process mining. But what exactly is process mining?

As Appian CEO Matt Calkins recently told Motley Fool, “[Process mining] is analyzing the efficiency of your business processes so that you can improve them and squeeze every last dime out of your processes” or “exactly the kind of thing that businesses want to do in a recession.”

Process mining tools analyze event log data like a homeowner’s or auto claim journey, resulting in a visualization of an entire process. This makes it easy to see potential problem areas that are causing settlement delays or drops in customer satisfaction or NPS scores.

With real-time visibility into the claims process as it is being carried out from start to finish, you can see where bottlenecks or idle time are causing delays, where steps are being skipped or added, and where other deviations from the ideal target process could cause compliance issues. Process mining allows insurers to monitor for claims optimization opportunities on an ongoing basis.

2. Quickly Design Your Ideal Claims Process with Low-Code 

Once you’ve discovered your roadblocks, you can then begin to fix them. And the fastest way to do this is with low-code.

Low-code data lets you rapidly design and build data-powered apps that scale with your business. In the past, it might have taken 12+ months to create an application to automate data ingestion during first notice of loss (FNOL), now the same (or a better) application can be developed in mere weeks. This level of speed and agility is a game-changer for insurers, who have historically gotten stuck in cycles of multiyear, multimillion dollar digital transformation initiatives that underdeliver while consuming significant IT resources. 

In addition to unprecedented agility, the right low-code platforms allow insurers to extend and unify their existing legacy and core systems without undergoing massive core modernization or “rip and replace” initiatives. They can also easily connect to the latest advanced data sources (e.g., IoT, telematics, insuretchs, etc.) through open APIs and integrations.

3. Automate the Mundane with AI, IDP, and RPA

If you want to build an automation strategy with a sound foundation that can quickly respond to rapid market changes, scale up or scale down as needed, and work more efficiently requiring less maintenance down the road, you need to use the right automation capability for the task at hand. 

Many insurers use one automation technology, adding third-party capabilities in patchwork fashion to automate complex end-to-end processes. It works for the moment and generates some short term value, but patchwork isn’t seamless and this kind of automation strategy isn’t built to last. 

To future-ready their operations and avoid a patchwork approach, insurers should look at low-code platforms that include the following key automation capabilities:

  • Robotic process automation (RPA) - Use bots to perform manual, repetitive, rules-based tasks between systems and free up your claims team to focus on more high-value work.
  • Intelligent document processing (IDP) - Use AI to locate and extract data from various structured and unstructured documents, like ACORD loss notice forms, to quickly capture and verify claims intake data.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) - AI can be deployed in various parts of the claims process, from data intake to fraud to subrogation. For instance, AI can be used to increase both the speed and accuracy of determining potential fraud cases, including loss padding in claims, to reduce overall loss adjustment expenses.

And while automation can often be seen as a threat, remember automation is not meant to replace humans in the claims process. Instead, automation can free employees from repetitive, manual tasks, allowing them to focus on more high-impact activities or meaningful customer interactions.

Want to learn more about improving the customer experience?

Visit our booth or request a meeting at ITC Vegas to learn more about how to deliver the connected insurance experience today’s customers demand.